Jakarta: India’s gold medal hope in Women’s squash team event were squashed as they surrendered meekly to superior Hong Kong 0-2, at the GBK Squash Stadium on the last day of competitions at the18th Asian Games here on Saturday.
The strategy of pitting Sunayana Kuruvilla, a promising youngster, in the opening tie fell flat as the Kerala girl found the going tough against Hong Kong’s top player Lok Tze Ho, losing 1-3 (8-11, 6-11, 12-10, 3-11) in just 31 minutes.
The Indian think-tank had apparently misjudged the competence of Hong Kong players and chose Sunayana ahead of team spearhead Dipika Pallikal Karthik and paid the price for this.
At the hindsight, one can say if they had fielded Dipika first, the outcome could have been different.
Trailing 0-2, the Sunayana tried to stage a comeback, winning the third after being neck-and-neck when Hong Kong deuced 10-all. Yet, Sunayana claimed the next two points to stay in contention. But, the superiority of Ho was so evident that she couldn’t be denied putting Hong Kong 1-0, a winning lead.
The next in line Joshana Chinappa wasn’t in her elements and never was able to produce what she did against World No 1 Nicol David last evening.
It was sad to watch the experienced and team’s best bet Joshana going down without a fight in a little over 20 minutes as Annie Chi Wing wrapped it up 11-3, 11-9, 11-5 without giving any chance for the third Indian player, Dipika.
Indian women had a sensational 2-0 win against favourites Malaysia in the semi-final on Friday. They had a bronze medal at the 2010
Guangzhou Games and a silver medal at Incheon in 2014. Their men counterparts had finished with a bronze medal.
Joshana offered no excuse for her defeat, which ended Indian challenge. “Annie Chi Wing played better and she was deserving winner.”
“I am happy with team’s showing, winning against Malaysia was best thing to happen to us in this event,” she said adding “perhaps today was not our day.”
Annie Chi Wing was happy with her show. “I watched Joshana beat Nicole. I knew I was against a tough rival so had prepared accordingly.” “Joshana is a tough rival and one has to prepare well to face her,” she added.
- The Indian think-tank had apparently misjudged the competence of Hong Kong players and chose Sunayana ahead of team spearhead Dipika Pallikal Karthik and paid the price for this.
- At the hindsight, one can say if they had fielded Dipika first, the outcome to the Gold medal tie could have been different.